Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), which has over three months of waiting list for its range of vehicles, on Friday forayed into the highly-competitive mid-size SUV segment, unveiling the new Urban Cruiser Hyryder. The vehicle has been developed as part of the global alliance between Japanese auto majors Toyota Motor Corporation and Suzuki Motor Corporation.
From 11 per cent in FY19, the share of the mid-size SUV segment in the overall passenger vehicle volumes has jumped to 18% in FY22, and is expected to grow even further. The segment is currently dominated by the South Korean duo of Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos.
The Hyryder’s production will commence at TKM’s manufacturing facility in Bidadi, Karnataka, from August. While bookings for the SUV opened on Friday, its customer deliveries will start from early festive period, P B Venugopal, vice president, TKM, told FE.”Toyota-Suzuki alliance is global. We signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2017. The purpose of this alliance is a collaborative effort. Toyota offers self-charging hybrid electric vehicle technology. Suzuki has a competitive edge in making compact vehicles,” Venugopal said.
TKM claims that the Hyryder gets the self-charging strong hybrid electric vehicle (SHEV) technology, which is a first for any model in the mid-size SUV segment.
Although Venugopal did not disclose the investment which has gone into the development of the new SUV, he said that Toyota group of companies has made an investment of Rs 4,800 crore, which also includes the e-drive localisation from Toyota Industries Engine India (TIEI) plant.
Hy in the Hyryder denotes the hybrid system and ryder talks about the SUV positioning, according to Venugopal. “Urban Cruiser is a family name and we have got excellent response for Glanza (premium hatchback) and Urban Cruiser (compact SUV). So, there is already a build-up and we are very confident that these customers who have experienced our after-sales and service support will be upgraders for the Hyryder,” he said.
Maruti Suzuki India will also introduce its own version of the Hyryder at a later date, the details about which are still to be announced. However, both Maruti and TKM will export the new model to markets outside India, including Africa.TKM had ended FY22 with total domestic volumes of 123,770 units, 32.9 per cent higher than its volumes in FY21 and 8.5 per cent more when compared with FY20. “We have already reached pre-Covid levels. It has been a V-shaped recovery. Our growth is slightly higher than the market growth,” Venugopal said.
TKM’s portfolio includes models like Glanza, Urban Cruiser, Innova Crysta, Hilux, Fortuner, Legender, Camry and Vellfire.